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Return to Running

I haven’t been running since mid-January, when I got plantar fasciitis in my foot. Based on past experience with plantar fasciitis (from walking, not running!), I knew it was best to completely stop running in order not to make it linger. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my calf stretching and using the ElliptiGo and the bicycle to stay in shape.

Finally my plantar fasciitis is under control, and I’m ready to start running again. Certainly I need to ease my way back into it, but how? The gradual “Couch to 5K” in 8 weeks seemed like overkill for just a 6 week absence. But I found the following suggestion which seems reasonable. Continue reading →

New ElliptiGo!

In mid-December, I hurt my foot (plantar fasciitis) and decided it would be best to lay off the running for a while. I’ve heard of runners using the ElliptiGo as a cross training tool, and it just so happened that I was able to pick one up used!

Here’s some information on some tweaks I ended up doing to the ElliptiGo to make it more suited for my needs. In a future post I’ll talk more about how it is working out as an exercise/training tool. Continue reading →

Returning from Injured Reserve

I last spoke of the return of the plica syndrome in mid-December, so I’ve stayed off the bicycle since then. And even though I’ve been doing short easy runs through the holidays, plantar fasciitis struck in mid-January. I know from past experience (believe it or not, I had PF years ago from bicycling!) that I don’t dare do anything which could aggravate it. So I’ve been completely sidelined for the latter half of January.

In the meantime I added a couple of pages to the website: Race All 50 and Bike All 50.

Today I decided to hop on the bike for about 10 miles through the local hills.  Continue reading →

Ditched Verizon for Page Plus

My two year contract with Verizon ended last December. Normally I’m skeptical of entering into contracts for cellular service, because I figure they make more money for the provider. But two years ago my wife and I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5 since the latter was 4G LTE capable. And, if I recall correctly, at the time I could only get 4G LTE service through a contract with Verizon.  Though at least I got the phones at a discount, and the FCC required that Verizon provided the phones unlocked, giving the option to walking away with useful phones after the contract was up. Continue reading →

Plica Syndrome is Back?

Back in the late 1990s, I had pain and swelling in my left knee during and after bicycling. Orthopedist after orthopedist told me it was tendinitis, but it never went away with physical therapy and rest. Finally I saw an orthopedist who thought it was something else: plica syndrome. Long story short: conservative treatments didn’t work, so in 1999, I had arthroscopic surgery to have the plica removed. I made a quick and full recovery, and I had no problems during my 2001 ride across America. Since then I’ve had the occasional ache and pain, but nothing more than stretching, ibuprofen, and on occasion a day or two of rest couldn’t handle.

Then one cool morning (45°F) last week, I went for a bicycle ride, and after only seven miles I felt the unmistakable pain and swelling of 15 years ago. My orthopedist had warned me that the plica could grow back. Many people have a medial plica, so it’s not the presence of such that is an issue, the concern is if it somehow becomes inflamed. And now it was back and inflamed with a vengeance. Continue reading →

VO2 Max Testing

I recently read the book 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald, which makes the case for doing 80% of training at low intensity and only 20% at moderate/high intensity. I’ve been making the mistake of running too hard on every run, increasing my chance of overtraining and injury! But if I hold back and go easier on some runs, how do I know whether I’m going too easy or too hard? I know the answer is in using my heart rate monitor (dusting the cobwebs off as we speak), but where to set the heart rate training zones?

That’s where metabolic stress testing, or more commonly known as VO2 max testing in exercise circles, comes in. I found somewhere local where this test is done in a doctor’s office, and so in my case it was covered by insurance. Continue reading →

Photos from Tahkenitch Dunes Trail in Oregon

On another forum, Raina mentioned her run on the Tahkenitch Lakes Trail in Oregon earlier today. What a coincidence, this was an area where Clint and I made a pit stop and did a hike during my Oregon Coast bicycle tour! I shared a few photos on my Day 4 writeup, but there’s no better time than the present to share the rest. (By the way, at the time, I was less than enthused about getting sand in my bike shoes, but the scenic detour was worth it after the fact.) Enjoy! Continue reading →

Tournament of Champions

For the last couple of years, my son has been in an after school chess program held once a week, conducted by Academic Chess. I’ve seen their teaching materials, and they’ve found a way to teach the rules and strategies in fun and interesting ways so the kids can relate.

He was invited to the “Tournament of Champions” which was held at a local mall this past weekend. Frequent readers may know that I’m a former chess master from another day and age. One might think that would want me to encourage him to play and take his chess to “another level”. But growing up I’ve seen the darker side of parents pushing their kids too far, including one parent who would do a harsh postmortem with his child after every game. I don’t want to be “that parent”, and so I supported him going (yet without pushing), just like my parents were to me. Continue reading →

Four Runs in New England

I just finished up a week of visiting family and friends in Massachusetts and Connecticut over Thanksgiving. Since I don’t talk too much personal stuff here, this blog entry is (mostly) about the runs.

I already wrote about the Norwood Turkey Trot I did the day after arriving. Nice weather, and 4 miles in 31:53 for a great run.

Then it was off to our hosts in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The unseasonably warm weather held out for Run #2, where I was able to stay in T-shirt and shorts. I had planned to run 3.1 miles, but I missed a turn, and it turned into 4.3 miles. Continue reading →

Norwood Turkey Trot Race Report

I wanted to squeeze in a race during my trip to New England, and so I found the Norwood Turkey Trot. It was on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which fit my schedule better than a run on Thanksgiving morning, and it had the added bonus of being a good halfway point to meet up with my friend Bruce at the race. Continue reading →